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Report No. 253

E. Mandate of the Present Law Commission

1.11 In view of the concerns raised by the Members of the Rajya Sabha, the Government withdrew the Bill. Subsequently, the Ministry for Law and Justice vide letter dated 7th March 2013 referred the Bill to the Law Commission in light of the various shortcomings observed in its provisions. The Ministry's letter expressed the view that certain provisions, especially those regarding the scope of the definition of "commercial dispute", needed reconsideration and a fresh study. Accordingly, a reference was made to the 20th Law Commission for its views on the proposed Bill.

1.12 The present Report seeks to re-examine and suggest changes to the 2009 Bill, which empowers the Chief Justice of a High Court to set up a dedicated Bench in the High Court for deciding commercial cases above a certain monetary limit. Certain defects have been pointed out in the structure of the Bill, which has prompted the present rethink.

1.13 In order to undertake a study for suggesting amendments to the Bill, the Commission issued a First Discussion Paper listing out the defects in the Bill, and the changes proposed by the Commission. This was circulated to an Expert Committee formed by the Commission, comprising of the Chairman, Justice Ravindra Bhat, Justice Valmiki J. Mehta, Justice Rajiv Endlaw Sahai, Justice S.K. Kathawala, Justice Gautam Patel, Mr. Neeraj Kishen Kaul, Mr. Nitin Thakker, Mr. Arun Mohan, Mr. Alok Prasanna Kumar, and Ms. Madhvi Diwan. In its deliberations, the Commission was also assisted by Mr. Vyom D. Shah, Ms. Nemika Jha, Mr. Brajesh Ranjan, and Mr. N.S. Nappinai.

1.14 Based on the suggestions and feedback received, a Second Discussion Paper was drafted and circulated. This was sent for comments and suggestions to the Bombay, Madras, and Delhi Bar. Responses were received from the Bombay Bar, comprising of Senior Counsels Mr. Milind Sathe (President, Bombay Bar), Mr. Rohit Kapadia, Mr. Nitin Thakker, Mr. Janak Dwarkadas, and Mr. Darius Khambata.

Written notes and suggestions were also sent to the Commission by a group of lawyer from Madras comprising of Senior Counsels, Mr. Arvind Datar, Mr. M.S. Krishnan, Mr. M.K. Kabir; advocates, Mr. N.L. Rajah, Mr. Anand Venkatesh, Mr. Anand Sashidharan, Mrs. Gladys Daniel, Mr. Anirudh Krishnan; and student Ms. Radha Raghavan. Mr. Rajshekhar Rao and Mr. Karan Lahiri from the Delhi Bar also sent in helpful suggestions and comments.

1.15 The Commission would also like to place on record its special appreciation for Mr. Alok Prasanna Kumar, Ms. Nimika Jha, and Ms. Vrinda Bhandari, whose inputs were incisive, vital and require special mention. They played a key role in drafting the Report.

1.16 Thereafter, upon extensive deliberations, discussions and in-depth study, the Commission has given shape to the present Report.

Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts and Commercial Courts Bill, 2015 Back

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